Lotus Elan

Knock-off (or -on) spinners

PostPost by: abstamaria » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:56 am

At the request of a member for a picture, and so as not to hi-jack the Panasport/Minilite thread, here is a photo I took today that shows the standard Elan spinner and the 26R item next to it. I think it has already been established that the two spinner types are not interchangeable. But both are beautiful items.

DSC00007.JPG and


There is a large weight difference between the two, as the 26R spinner is aluminum and has that open center to boot. When I bought my spinners about 18 years ago, there were two suppliers, one much cheaper than the other. I do not know whether that represented the difference between the grade of aluminum used, the method of production (cast or machined), or other things. Anyway, I obtained mine from Tony Thompson. They are quite strong. The spinner in the photo is usually on my desk; during a racing incident, a front wheel and this spinner contacted the wall. The wheel was destroyed. You can see the flattened edge and scratches on two ears, but they didn't break off or bend.

The hole in one ear is for safety-wire, which I used for race meetings.

I should add there is a wealth of information in teh archives, which turn up easily in a search. I wish there were a way of reviving them, so the data is all in one thread.

I hope this helps.

Andy
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PostPost by: abstamaria » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:20 am

Here is one of the spinner ears that contacted the wall during the accident. Damage was slight, and the spinner is still usable.

DSC00005.JPG and
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PostPost by: pharriso » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:25 pm

The racing spinner is open so that you & the scrutineers can see that the spinner is tight & there is plenty of thread engagement.
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PostPost by: abstamaria » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:54 am

I asked a doctor friend to weigh the spinners on her super accurate digital baby-weight scale, and the results are as follows:

Standard eared spinner: 0.600 kg or 1.322 pounds
26R spinner: 0.23 kg or 0.506 pounds

The 26R spinner is only 38% of the weight of the standard item, and that's unsprung weight. Both look like works of art on a desk, but the standard spinner makes a better paper weight. Or ashtray (photo of engraved commemorative spinner courtesy of Maureen, who was at the works at the time).

LOTUS ELAN KO.jpg and


IMO, the standard spinner looks better on a standard steel wheel or Minilites than the 26R spinner.

Regards,

Andy
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PostPost by: enskr » Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:25 pm

Not only unsprung weight, but rotating unsprung weight.... which is the best kind of weight to minimise!

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PostPost by: Elan45 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:38 pm

Kevin,

That is so true, but we could never figure out why the 26R front hubs are bronze, more dense than steel.

Can you tell if the TT spinners are made from castings or billets? My originals are from castings. They have not been polished like yours.
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:00 pm

Elan45 wrote:That is so true, but we could never figure out why the 26R front hubs are bronze, more dense than steel.


I am going to speculate that in the heat of competition it is possible that a knock-on nut can be cross-threaded on the hub. In that case you would want the nut to fail and not the hub. There is a bit of folk lore that the Penske Team went to bronze or brass wheel nuts for their Trans Am Camaros after a botched pit stop involving cross threading during a tire change.
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:42 am

Lotus did use a brass/ bronze alloy for the nuts on six-spoke wobblie wheels. The 4-spoke wheels used on 20, 22, 23, 27 etc have steel nuts though. But the brass nuts may have been a holdover from the Austin 7 heritage.

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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:39 am

I'm not too bad with a hammer and I usually hit what I am aiming at but I am not in a hurry when I change wheels so I like the 4 bolt (with nuts) and these seem to be a bit lighter.

lug nut weight.JPG and
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PostPost by: abstamaria » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:18 pm

Indeed, Piss-ant. And no threaded hub to add weight either.

Some ten or so years ago, I weighed my wheels and came up with these:

Original steel (KO) wheel with Dunlop SP Sports: 30 lbs.
Magnesium 6" 26R (KO) wheel with Dunlop CR65s: 21 lbs.

The lightest combination must be bolt-on 26R magnesium wheels and standard hubs.

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PostPost by: abstamaria » Sun May 03, 2020 1:23 pm

Such a old thread I found it looking for the relative weights of spinners and wheels. Let me post a photo of my 26R spinner with a hole drilled in one ear for safety wire (probably unnecessary) when I was racing.

Andy

D7550C39-FAE2-4994-B391-A2F67F0DC30B.jpeg and
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Sun May 03, 2020 9:03 pm

Nice pic Andy! Looks like a new 26R wheel and a new spinner. Now get the greasy fingerprints off!

Can I ask you a question? The studs that get bolted to the wheel, did your fall into place before you tightened up the nuts or did you have to use a mallet to get the studs to seat before installing the nuts?

Mine came in a box of parts from 50 years ago. My magnesium wheels are new but when I attempted to install the studs, there is obviously an interference fit. I feel like I'll have to use a mallet to get them to seat and I'm afraid to do that if something is wrong with the fit.

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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Sun May 03, 2020 11:51 pm

Famous Frank wrote:
Can I ask you a question? The studs that get bolted to the wheel, did your fall into place before you tightened up the nuts or did you have to use a mallet to get the studs to seat before installing the nuts?

Mine came in a box of parts from 50 years ago. My magnesium wheels are new but when I attempted to install the studs, there is obviously an interference fit. I feel like I'll have to use a mallet to get them to seat and I'm afraid to do that if something is wrong with the fit.

Frank


In my replica 26R wheels from TTR (not magnesium, but aluminum), the studs were a tight fit but tapped into place without a lot of force needed.
IMG_6703.jpeg and
IMG_8028.jpeg and
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PostPost by: abstamaria » Mon May 04, 2020 12:25 am

Haha, hello, Frank. I installed those over two decades ago, but recall I had to tap them in, as 1owner noted above. It is possible that the studs don’t fit the holes in your new rims. It may be safer to get new ones from the supplier of the rims.

Best of luck.

Andy
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PostPost by: baileyman » Mon May 04, 2020 2:44 pm

I had to tap mine into new mags, too. And then to tighten the nut I had to chuck a flat bladed screw into one of Ron Hickman's benches pointing up. Then lowered the wheel with stud onto the blade and then could tighten the nut.

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